Montana State University

MMEC field engineer wins Lifetime Achievement Award

May 23, 2012 -- MSU News Service

Dale Detrick of the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award. (Photo courtesy of MMEC).   High-Res Available

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BOZEMAN -- Dale Detrick, field engineer for the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC), was recently presented a Lifetime Achievement Award at the national Manufacturing Innovation conference of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

The award recognizes MEP staff who make a significant, innovative and sustainable impact within client companies and across the MEP system.

The MEP, a program of the US Department of Commerce, is a public-private partnership that teams with industry as well as state and local organizations to support small to midsize manufacturers with services that drive growth, accelerate innovation, and promote sustainability and continuous improvement. The program has 1,700 technical experts in nearly 350 manufacturing extension offices across the country and in Puerto Rico.

"At the awards ceremony, Detrick was commended for his professionalism and a personality that has made him overwhelmingly successful as an outstanding champion for the MEP mission and leading successful growth and transformation in U.S.-based manufacturing for 18 years," said MMEC Director Steve Holland. "This prestigious award is richly deserved."

Detrick has been with MMEC for 11 years and seven with the Connecticut MEP. He works from an office located at Big Sky Economic Development in Billings.

"He has been characterized as the 'Connecticut Yankee' for a style that classifies him as mentor to colleagues and clients alike," said Tom Spika of Spika Welding and Manufacturing, who wrote a letter of support for Detrick's award nomination. "He employs brutal honesty, listening and relating, and mediation along with a wealth of knowledge from 25 years immersed in design and manufacture as a business owner."

Detrick's tireless and long reach geographically to manufacturers was also recognized for bringing innovation to companies of all sizes. His service territory covers a 73,000-square-mile region, exactly half of the fourth largest state in the United States. His record of steering client growth ranges from automating a lefse maker in a tiny rural community that juggles workforce with seasonal ranch demands to contributing to the fruition of an entrepreneur's dream in the role of design coach for a revolutionary seed harvester to building a sustained Lean Enterprise in one of the oldest and largest steel fabricators in the state. His crowning achievement is nurturing a regional cluster of manufacturers in Lewistown that successfully collaborates and continues to meet after more than 10 years.

MMEC is an outreach center in the Montana State University College of Engineering committed to the growth and success of Montana manufacturers.

Dale Detrick of the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award. (Photo courtesy of MMEC).